Tennesseans that Qualify as Medical Cannabis Patients: Jennifer’s Story

The lack of a medical cannabis program in Tennessee is literally wrecking potential patient’s lives, not just their health.

It’s unfair that medicating with cannabis will automatically criminalize a person in Tennessee, causing the potential loss of jobs, children, homes and even one’s freedom.

It’s even more unfair to see that very same patient who is being persecuted in Tennessee for using cannabis as medicine, be told they’re qualified to be enrolled in a medical cannabis program in Arkansas or any other legal state. In that case, their right to medicate with cannabis would be afforded legal protections, rather than them being persecuted for it’s use as we Tennesseans are.

Meet Jennifer, a Tennessean who needs a medical cannabis program here. Cannabis has been the only medicine that helps her myriad of physical and mental issues without ruining her quality of life, or putting her in danger of addiction issues as pharmaceuticals would.

In our interview with Jennifer, she stated “I was ran over by a truck when I was 16 months old, and I ended up with a severe skull fracture, a concussed brain stem, 63 stitches in my leg, and a scar from the truck tire on my left cheek. It also caused several neurological issues as I grew up. When I was younger, I would throw horrible fits when anyone wore white clothes, or when I saw doctors. I freaked out when I heard loud noises and when I had to deal with change. In my teen years I started suffering from severe depression. I also have been diagnosed with PTSD, an anxiety disorder, insomnia, severe arthritis, migraines, psoriasis, IBS and fibromyalgia. Then, and few weeks ago I was finally diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia, which explains the constant horrible burning pain on the left side of my face. There is no cure, and no real help from currently available pharmaceuticals.

At 20 years old, I started having migraines. We are talking about severely debilitating migraines lasting 3-5 days, and I’d have 10-20 migraines a month, every month.

In my late 20’s, the anxiety and panic attacks became to much for me to handle on my own, so I finally started taking medication for them, although it didn’t stop the issues.

In my late 30’s, the pain in my neck and the nerve pain had become much, much worse, some days I could barely turn my head from the neck pain. I had then, and continue to have now, a constant burning pain on the entire left side of my face. It’s excrutiating, both physically and mentally to be in constant burning, grinding pain………. you feel like you’re loosing your mind.

On September 1, 2015 I had an emergency Caesarian section, and it severely triggered my PTSD. For months I continually went to my PCP begging for help. I started having more physical health issues, which just caused my PTSD to worsen despite being on 6 medications that were supposed to be helping me.

After having a colonoscopy while under anesthesia I had a really bad patch, and attempted suicide on May 16,2016. Afterwards, I then checked myself into a place for treatment. At the time I did so, I had all the proper medicines my doctor had prescribed in my system, but I also had THC in it from the cannabis I had been supplementing the medications with as well.

My children’s father applied for emergency custody, and due to the fact the Judge had proclaimed “I had a negative drug history” because THC was found in my system, I was told could not see my children.

For months I continued with outpatient therapy, as well as taking 9 different pills a day. The therapy helped me learn so much about myself and my PTSD. Unfortunately, like a large percentage of the people who take the mental health medicines they were giving me, they made my anxiety and depression MUCH worse. I was still not sleeping on their pills, and I noticed that they were triggering the return of the constant, horrible migraines.

I stopped taking all pills in November of 2016, and only medicate with cannabis now because it helps my pain, depression and anxiety without all the horrible side effects such as suicidal thoughts and feelings, anxiety attacks, and daily migraines.

Because of that choice, I am now fighting for my parental rights with my children. I was ordered by the judge to go to a doctor in Arkansas with my medical records, and see if I could get a letter proving I have the qualifying conditions to be a legitimate medical cannabis patient in a legitimate medical cannabis program.

I got that letter on July 6 of 2017, and I am now a qualified medical cannabis patient by Arkansas rules.

This means that in Arkansas, I am considered a medical cannabis patient, while in Tennessee I am treated like a criminal for my choice of medicine. I just don’t understand why our zip code can be what determines whether we’re a patient or a criminal, it’s hypocritical and grossly unfair to the citizens of Tennessee.

I am a Christian, and I am a good mom who just wants to use the best medicine for my issues so I can continue to be the best mom possible.

Using cannabis medicine does not make me a bad person, it just means my body responds better to a natural plant than man-made chemicals. I’ve happily taken a hair follicle test to prove that the only medicine I have in my system is cannabis, and it works so well it’s now the only medicine I need to control my symptoms.

I have been to so many doctors in my life, and I have tried many, many medications……none of them gave me the relief I get from this non addictive, non toxic plant. Here’s a list of alot of the medications I’ve been able to replace with cannabis: Fioricet, Imitrex, Relpax, Maxalt, Zomig, Migranal nasal spray, Imitrex statdose pen, D.H.E 45 injection, Stadol nose spray, Tompamax,Depakote, Loratab, Percocet, Phenergin and Zophran…….all these were prescribed for migraine pain. The anxiety and depression medications list I have been able to avoid now by using cannabis medicine is long as well. It includes Zanax, Klonopin, Ativan, burpirone, Prozac, Celexa, Zoloft, Paxil, Effexor, and Wellbutrin. These insomnia medications are no longer needed as well, Ambien, Remeron and Trazodone. Tell me why anyone would rather swallow all those chemicals over using a natural plant?

I definitely don’t. I choose cannabis because it’s the best medicine for my issues, and definitely the safest most natural medicine for them.

2 Responses to Tennesseans that Qualify as Medical Cannabis Patients: Jennifer’s Story

  • Yes, Jennifer, you won’t need as many doctor’s appointments, and you won’t need as many medicines, and that may just answer the question regarding the reluctance to legalize cannabis. In other words, you won’t be needing to give as much of your money to doctors and drug companies, and their income and sales will go down. The system has to learn how to adjust, and hopefully quickly. Surely the state governments see the possible tax money coming in, and that should be a powerful incentive to legalize. My doctor had me up to 13 medicines before I dropped 7 of them about 9 months ago. My blood test last week showed only one thing out of order, my LDL cholesterol. So I started one drug again, the simvastatin. I hope I’m still on this earth when some sanity returns and Tennessee can progress into the 21st century……….

  • Perhaps the greatest fear of the establishment leaders is that the youngsters will start growing it, etc., etc. My guess is that things will stabilize and cannabis will return to its rightful place as a medicine. And likely Merck will manufacture it again, as they did in 1899, as reported in the first Merck Manual, as “Cannabine Tannate Merck…. Hypnotic, sedative – Uses: Hysteria, delirium, nervous insomnia, etc.” But of course a plant that can be grown by anyone with a little effort and little expense is contrary to those who wish to control others…… when the plant can be grown and sold by big business ………

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